Amazon.com Success Story
Based in Seattle, USA, the company has grown from a book seller to a virtual
Wall Mart of the Web selling products as diverse as music CDs, software, office
products, electronics, toys, games, cookware, hardware, food, and health
products. The company has also grown at a tremendous rate with revenue rising
from about US$150 million in 1997 to US$5.2 billion in 2003.
Entrepreneurial Spirit of Jeff Bezos
"One of the huge
mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You
passions choose you." ~ Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, the founder of the company,
broke the rules
of the book business by using
rather than conventional distribution channels.
Amazon.com was founded by Jeff Bezos, a computer science and electrical
engineering graduate from Princeton University. Bezos had moved to Seattle after
resigning as a Senior Vice-President at D.E.Shaw, a Wall Street investment bank.
He didnít know much about the Internet. But he came across a statistic that the
Internet was growing at 2300%, which convinced him that it was a large growth
Not knowing much more, he plunged into the world of
no prior retailing experience.
He chose to locate the company in Seattle because
it had a large pool of technical talent and since it was close to one of the
largest book wholesalers located in Rosenburg, Oregon. He was
thinking of the
company as a bookseller at the beginning. Moreover, the sales tax laws for
online retailers state that one has to charge sales tax in the state in which
one is incorporated. Therefore it was logical to locate in a small state.
The company was started in a garage. Initial
business meetings were conducted at a local Barnes and Noble store. Bezos picked
the name 'Amazon' for his company because it started with the letter A,
signified something big, and it was easy to spell.
The company went online in July 1995. In May 1997,
Amazon.com went public.
for Building a High-growth Business
For his contribution, Jeff Bezos was picked as the
1999 Time person of the year at the age of 35 making him the fourth-youngest
person of the year. Describing why it choose Bezos, Time magazine said, ďBezosí
of the online retailing universe was so complete, his Amazon.com site so elegant
and appealing that it became from Day One the point of reference for anyone who
had anything to sell online.Ē